Summers: ‘Statistical Recovery and Human Recession’
Key Obama economic adviser Larry Summers coined a telling way to look at the current American economic state of play. He said the U.S. is experiencing a “statistical recovery and a human recession.”
It is a phrase that should resonate through much of the industrial world, where high and long-standing unemployment is increasingly becoming a huge domestic political issue.
Speaking on a panel at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Summers said one in five American men aged 25 to 54 are unemployed. He said given a “reasonable recovery,” that rate could improve to one in seven or one in eight. That still contrasts with a 95% employment rate for that group in the mid-1960s.
He said the U.S. can gain from increased global integration, but if it is to be politically sustainable it “has to work for people.” That means job creation in the U.S. is a crucial issue.